Prescott, AZ (TheStreet) -- Even before the U.S. stock market made its probable bottom in March 2009 many pundits have been trying to figure out the low point in financial stocks.
News for the group continues to be bad, with the recent trading loss at J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) being the latest. Things appear to be even worse for European financial stocks.
This creates a problem for investors who prefer to use broad-based ETFs that track indexes like the Standard & Poor's 500 or the MSCI EAFE Index. Fund provider WisdomTree was early to recognize this dilemma by offering the WisdomTree Dividend ex-Financials Fund (DTN), which is a domestic fund, and the WisdomTree International Dividend ex-Financials Fund (DOO).
In looking under the hood at DTN the dividend weighting methodology nets a reasonably even distribution at the sector level so an implosion in one sector, like technology 12 years ago or financials four years ago, would not necessarily cause DTN to melt down. The largest sector is utilities at 14%, staples at 13% and materials, industrials and telecom all near 11%. Energy is the smallest sector at 8%.Excluding financials has led to clear outperformance by DTN thus far over the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which is the exchange-traded proxy for the S&P 500. In the last two years the domestic fund is up 24% versus a 19% gain for SPY. The sector dispersion is a little wider with the international fund, which allocates 17% to telecom and 12% each to utilities, healthcare and staples. The smallest sector is tech at 6%. As this is a foreign fund and Europe is the center of attention it is also important to look at the country weightings and understand that exposure. DOO's largest country weight is the UK at 22% followed by Australia at 17%. France is the third-largest country in the fund at 10%. The weighting of the eurozone totals just under 38%, which does not compare favorably to the iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA), which is closer to 24%. The Wisdom Tree international fund does fare better for investors looking to underweight Japan. DOO allocates 9.75% to Japan versus 21.4% for EFA. Looking back over the last two years the sector weighting has not helped DOO versus EFA as it is down 1% versus a gain of 5% for EFA.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV